Devonshires has raised the bar for admin cock-ups by failing to register an entire trainee intake with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Six trainees joined the firm in Autumn 2013 and, under SRA rules, the firm was required to register their training contracts with the regulator within three months. Failure to register is a breach of the SRA's requirements for training providers which can attract penalties ranging from a written rebuke to a fine or even disqualification, depending on the severity and impact of the non-compliance.

However according to an inside source, Devonshires' HR department bungled the formality. And it was only a few weeks before the trainees were due to qualify that anyone noticed that, as far as the SRA was concerned, the trainees were non-existent. Leaving the firm with some hurried explaining to do.

Devonshires gets ready to surprise its 'trainees'

Luckily whatever abject grovelling the firm performed seems to have worked. Senior Partner Andrew Cowan told RollOnFriday that, although it is not the firm's policy to comment on individual employment matters, he could confirm that the SRA "has allowed the registration of all 6 trainees". He added, "We will continue to support these trainees as they make their transition to becoming newly qualified solicitors". Although given its performance to date, "remember to support" might be more accurate than "continue to support".

The other good news is that the trainees will now get to find out whether Cowan is made in the mould of his predecessor Allan Hudson. The ex-Senior Partner sent round a superb chest-beating email when RollOnFriday reported how Devonshires had screwed over its associates.
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Anonymous 25 September 15 09:34

How embarrassing. Surely they will be laughed out the door on their next FBI-style intervention of an unsuspecting high street practice?

Anonymous 25 September 15 10:48

I think Devonshires are on a couple of SRA panels so you'd think they'd know the rules!!!

Anonymous 25 September 15 12:16

Totally unsurprising. This firm cares about nothing other than whipping its lawyers to near death whilst paying them the lowest salaries in the city - all to feather the nest of partners who take home disgustingly huge pay. This place is the law firm equivalent of a chinese sweat shop.

Roll On Friday 25 September 15 16:18

What were the Training Principal and COLP up to? Delegation without supervision?

Anonymous 01 October 15 10:35

My mate at Jones day had that happen to him this year too! Not a big deal happens all the time